By Chris Johnson


There aren’t going to be too many people worried about how much this season will mean to the student-athlete representatives of the Belvidere North Lady Blue Thunder girls’ basketball team. They know they have a good team. They are prepared to take on the challenges that will be thrown at them during the path ahead. They have shown their determination to track down teams like Rockford Boylan and hot-handed Hononegah in the highly-competitive NIC-10.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15 the regular season began and Belvidere North won in double-digit fashion, 48-35 over Marengo. The 1-0 start pushed the NIC-10 directly in the Lady Blue Thunder path. The road was cleared for a 2-0 start.

A little trouble was found courtesy of Burlington Central on Friday, Nov. 19, as the Blue Thunder dropped a single-point decision 37-36.

For a lot of coaches and many players who listen to them, losing a game by a single point can leave a pain that lasts longer than the type caused in a blowout decision. Belvidere North will need to rebound and find the discipline required to reenter battle at the NIC-10 level without worrying about the blemished record. They have too many big games ahead.

On Tuesday, Nov. 29 as many teams return from Thanksgiving Tournaments, the Lady Blue Thunder prepare for a conference-influencing head-to-head battle with the previously undefeated and perennial-leading conference-dynamo Hononegah on Friday, Dec. 2.

There will be more NIC-10 battles to follow including a Tuesday, Dec. 6 battle at Harlem and a Friday, Dec. 9 meeting with Guilford in Rockford that will provide great influence on the standings. But the shot at Hononegah doesn’t come around that often and will have to be acted upon.

The Lady Blue Thunder road swing heads to Freeport on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and then travels the distance to Rockford East for the final pre-Christmas NIC-10 contest on the 2016 schedule. It also will mark the end of the impressively-important four game road trip.

Belvidere North will have to survive the mid-conference challenges before they get their next shot at a probable conference leader, Rockford Boylan on Friday Jan. 6.

Statistically-speaking, there is no let-up for the Lady Blue Thunder this season, unless a four game swing through the NIC-10 and beyond produces wins, starting with the Tuesday, Jan. 10 match at Belvidere High School.

Clashes with Rockford Jefferson on Friday, Jan. 20 followed by games against East Dubuque and Rockford East on Tuesday, Jan. 24 become “must-win” games if the Lady Blue Thunder want to be thought of as one of the top teams in the area when the post-season selections are made.

Hononegah hosts Belvidere North on Tuesday, Feb. 7. It gives the Lady Blue Thunder their last shot to assure Hononegah doesn’t take the NIC-10 running away, if that’s the way the season is to play out.


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